“Layla Claire’s Blanche de La Force, perhaps the finest embodiment of this elusive character I’ve seen and heard in my four decades of Dialogues…Claire, in her shimmering, pellucid light-lyric soprano, her pale elegance and balletic physical grace, kept reminding me of Duval without seeming in any way a copy. She limned Blanche’s progress from a timid whisper of a girl toward a woman resolutely embracing her “easy death” with exceptional persuasion.” –Opera Canada, May 2015
“The soprano Layla Claire was sweet-toned and nimble as Anne Trulove, growing in both vocal stature and pathos throughout the evening. Her aria “No Word from Tom” showcased the kaleidoscopic colors of her top notes.” –New York Times, May 2015, full review.
“As Anne, Layla Claire was radiant as she apostrophized the night and the moon in her ‘No word from Tom’, ending with a sustained high C, and she was sweet and caring the ‘Gently, little boat’ lullaby to Tom in Bedlam” –Classical Source, May 2015, full review.
“Soprano Layla Claire conveys the purity of Anne’s character and also sings angelically.” –Epoch Times, May 2015, full review.
“Claire was powerfully moving as she sang “Gently, little boat” to Tom in the asylum” –New York Classical Review, May 2015, full review.
“At the end of her act one aria, Claire hit a ringing high C, upon her decision to pursue the wayward Tom.” –The Guardian, May 2015, full review.
“Layla Claire applied her sweet soprano and poignant persona happily to the hapless duties of Anne Trulove.” –Financial Times, May 2015, full review.
“Soprano Layla Claire, as Sister Blanche, has a bright, clear timbre that gives Blanche a sweetly innocent quality as she reacts to the swirl of events around her” –Washington City Paper, February 2015, full review.
“Soprano Layla Claire truly shines with some of the most lyrical material in the score.” –Broadway World, February 2015, full review.
“Layla Claire’s Donna Anna dominates through the size of her voice and the electric current that runs through it.” –Financial Times, June 2014
“Layla Claire’s elegant Donna Anna boasts diamante coloratura and is alertly communicative in the recitatives.” –Daily Telegraph, June 2014, full review.
“The tall blonde Claire has a ravishing soprano voice of trumpet-like clarity with creamy tragic colourings, and she comports herself with a stillness that gives a real moral intensity to Anna’s ambiguity about her boyfriend Ottavio” –The Arts Desk, June 2014, full review.
“The stand-out vocal presence was Layla Claire…whose Donna Anna revealed a rich dramatic soprano…oozing with class and possibility” –The Guardian, June 2014, full review.
“Layla Claire was a wonderful Fiordiligi…acting and singing her role with humour when needed, depth when called for. Her second act aria, Per pieta, was superb” –Globe and Mail, full review.
“[Layla] Claire fielding some glorious tones in her upper register that drew bravos from the opening night crowd” –Toronto Star, full review.
“Soprano Layla Claire made her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Pamina, and I hope she’ll come back soon….Her voice was big and rich throughout, made all the better by strong acting, pinpoint accuracy and fine control, particularly in her second act aria.”
– Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, full review
“Soprano [Layla] Claire has an exceptionally appealing voice in her middle and upper registers — clean and clear with just the right amount of warmth. She retains tonal luster up to the high B flats and has ample agility.”
– Mark Kanny, TribLIVE.com – Pittsburgh’s News Source, full review
“Perky and with big, expressive eyes, her long red hair commanding attention, she displayed an exciting, bright tone and shimmering piano notes, and her third-act aria of lament was thrilling.”
– Ronald Blum, The Associated Press
“B.C. native Layla Claire was a lovely Marenka, with a winning presence and a delicately, delectably shimmering voice that more than once called to mind Pilar Lorengar, who was my very first, and still most cherishable, bartered bride.”
– Patrick Dillon, Opera Canada
“Among the singers, slim, red-haired Layla Claire made the biggest impression as Mařenka, the bartered bride. She is a talented, affecting actress, both flirting and sorrowing, and her voice has a Central European sort of vibrato and a winning, plangent smoothness and rose on occasion to an opulent high C. Too, she worked her irritations out in dance steps that seemed unusually well integrated into her character.”
– John Yohalem, Opera Today
“Claire, who has also appeared with Levine at Tanglewood, sang with a beautifully resonant, iridescent voice that is sure to destine her for a significant career. She also showed a wonderful grasp of the role’s different facets. For instance, in her duet with the hapless Vasek, she deftly balances a slightly mischievous side in trying to convince him that Marenka is a shrew and would cheat on him (he thinks she is someone else) with a genuineness that earns his trust. And Claire made an emotional high point of the tender aria near the end, when Marenka thinks (wrongly) that Jenik has betrayed her, which she followed up with some convincingly assertive singing in confronting him.”
– George Loomis, The Classical Review
“Layla Claire, in her company debut, contributed a Tebaldo of charm and wit.”
– F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News
“Everything came back into sharp focus, however, with the quiet, dignified entrance of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, joined by soloist Layla Claire, whose gleaming soprano emerged from the enveloping warmth of their voices like a soul in ascending flight.”
– Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News
“To single out each member of the cast would be a difficult undertaking as all involved are deserving of recognition, but it would be simply criminal not to mention the fine work of Layla Claire. Claire’s beautiful vibrato, clean line, agile voice, and full bodied sound provided the vocal highpoint (among many) of the evening. Each of Claire’s arias rightly received the warmest and largest reception of the night. Her natural portrayal of the role, without any of the dramatic gestures often associated with opera, showed that acting and performance is not being ignored… We hope to not sound too cliché, but last night was Ms. Claire’s star is born moment.”
– Family Circle
“Soprano Layla Claire was the quintessential Susanna. Her bright soprano rang true and she was perfection in this role. Her last solo in Act IV, Deh vieni non tardar, was sung beautifully.”
– Rex Hearn, Palm Beach Artspaper
“The luminous soprano Layla Claire’s penetrating purity blended beautifully with Ms. Blythe’s lustrous phrases.”
– Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
“Layla Claire’s Donna Anna was sensitively sung (especially in the dramatic description of the night of her father’s murder), and Claire’s characterization kept compassion and gentility as its focus.”
– Judith Malafronte, Opera News
“The revelation of the evening was Layla Claire’s touching and vulnerable performance of ‘Adieu, notre petite table’ from Massenet’s Manon; her perfect technique allowed her voice to swell and bloom.”
– La Scena Musicale
“The standout voices were female, especially Donna Anna (Layla Claire), a top-of-the-range soprano who sang the most challenging passages with ease.”
– Keith Powers, Boston Herald
“Astonishing was the sheer musicality of Layla Claire as Fiordiligi. She negotiated the huge vocal leaps of her part the way a good clarinetist might and had shockingly accurate intonation in coloratura passages. In Fiordiligi’s defining first act aria “Come scoglio,” Claire was able to sound each note of the fast triplets in the “Più Allegro,” even at the blazing speed of the music.”
– Steve Metcalf, The Hartford Courant
“Layla Claire is clearly meant for great things. The Canadian soprano possesses a rich, luminous instrument and her sensitive, expressive singing consistently illuminated the text, with supremely affecting vocalism…”
– Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
“Layla Claire was just glorious as Donna Anna. She is a stunning red head with a gorgeous and powerful voice. She dominated every scene she was in.” –
– Charles Giuliano, BerkshireFineArts.com
“Layla Claire, as the grief-addicted Donna Anna, sang with limpid, steely sound and gripping commitment”
– Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe
“Canadian Layla Claire’s beautifully balanced soprano, enriched with a seductive depth of tone, served her thoughtful characterization of the more serious, morally-minded [Fiordiligi] well. …a truly memorable resonance, and her expressively phrased and probing “Ei parti, sento!” and “Per pietà, ben mio, perdona” earned her a warm ovation from the audience. Ms. Claire is an outstanding young singer, and I would be surprised if we don’t see her often on major stages in the future.”
– Charles Giuliano, Berkshire Fine Arts
“The cast on opening night was uniformly strong, responding to the firm direction with natural and convincing actor-singing. A standout was certainly the regal soprano of Layla Claire, as the countess.”
– The Philadelphia City Paper
“Speaking of luxurious, Layla Claire’s voice should probably be declared a national treasure. Her ample, clear, flexible soprano has power as well as grace, with a tone coated in addictive, sweet caramel.”
– Musical Toronto, John Terauds
“Layla Claire’s Countess, drifting around in floaty dresses and platform shoes, was more than equal to hers, drawing on luscious resources of colour and ornamental prowess so that you felt she could do anything in ‘Dove sono’: likewise, a finer Rosina I’ve not seen on stage.”
– I’ll think of something later, David Nice
“The cast worked well together, but the supreme performance was Layla Claire as the Countess. Her glorious purity of tone was complemented by body language and glances that expressed her feelings to perfection. She seems to have had fine ballet training, and her very few dance moves were excellent. This Canadian singer has been a young artist at the Met in New York and is clearly someone to watch out for.”
– Mark Ronan’s Theatre Review